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I think Philosophy SE has lost the plot. I know there are numerous Phi SE regulars who know their stuff (Quite brilliant if I add), how does this pass through? Since it's here I will put this here too: I added an answer to the question which this post meant to answer, but within a couple of minutes I get downvoted because some brilliant budding mathematician couldn't understand my construction. Mind you, the construction is not even my own (i.e. it's a well-accepted one i.e. citable). I am rarely active on this site, so I am not too worried about my own answer. It's the ridiculously stupid answers that make me chuckle. You guys gotta fix this.

See Why is the definition of the real numbers not contradictory?

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    Edited to raise the profile of the common occurrence of highly-idiosyncratic and nearly meaningless language use.
    – J D
    Dec 29, 2020 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


Joke? No. It's the Dunning-Kruger effect. I once watched a thread of a self-claimed physicist who ran an experimental apparatus in his garage claim he had empirical proof that the conservation of angular momentum as understood was flawed. Completely resistant to argument after argument that undermined the claim. He simply lacked the ability to understand he didn't understand. If you're not familiar, read up on the Indiana Pi Bill to see how truly absurd abuse of language and politics can get.

Some thinkers rely on highly idiosyncratic semantics and shallow syntactical clues in evaluating the truth-conditions of propositions. Again, moderators are simply not empowered to CONSISTENTLY eliminate extremely low-quality posts, nor fix extremely high-quality questions that get voted closed mistakenly.

This speaks to the point that the art of Q&A relies on a philosopher's editorial judgment to navigate simple fact-based questions (When was Philosophical Investigations published) and speculative opinion-based questions. (What is the meaning of life?) The problem has been and will continue to be how do we standardize the editorial middle-road, which as far as I can tell requires a consensual metric to separate high-quality editorial such as yours from low-quality editorial.

In essence, there is a parallel to be drawn between individual reputation wars and collective downvoting/closure skirmishes over metaphysical positions.

The moderators can't fix this until they are empowered to fix this lest they appear heavy-handed to novices such as myself.

  • That's it!! The Dunning-Kruger effect it is! But, I think there needs to be some standard for this site. I guess you have a point too that moderators cannot moderate answers without coming off slightly harsh. Still though. Dec 29, 2020 at 21:43
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    You're absolutely right. When you're arguing Dedekind cuts who thinks in terms of cold cuts, there's something that needs to be done. Peer review is the standard mechanism in original research, but this forum is open to everyone, which is where the challenge lies... even our ratings aren't prima facie evidence of competence. What are the moderators to do when an idiot such as myself with a 6,000 score corrects a PhD with a 2,000 score and refuses to back down? It's what they currently do: nothing. And my belief is they need to be empowered by the community to do something. The challenge: what?
    – J D
    Jan 1, 2021 at 20:10
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    @BertrandWittgenstein'sGhost Philip has confirmed we are allowed to use mechanism for expressing democratic will, so as soon as I can herd enough cats to do something with it to fix, I will come looking for your vote. Beats the hell out of me how to separate the wheat from the chaff by fair mechanism. Calling people on the Internet out on their stupidity is the one thing I'm sure does NOT work.
    – J D
    Jan 1, 2021 at 20:12

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